Research, Social Work Interns

Surveys for needs assessments

Social Work Students & Public Libraries


Beth Wahler, a faculty member of the Indiana University School of Social Work, has conducted needs assessments with a number of public libraries around the U.S. She has also partnered with social work programs at multiple universities to provide assistance to their students conducting needs assessments as part of their practicum.  Dr. Wahler is willing to share the staff and patron surveys she has used with other schools and libraries as needed.  She can be reached at  For more info about her work, please see Wahler et al. (2019) and Provence et al. (2020). 


Wahler, E. A.,Provence, M. A., Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2019). The changing role of libraries: How social workers can help.Families in Society, 101(1), 34-43.

Provence, M. A., Wahler, E. A.,Helling, J., & Williams, M. A. (2020). Self-reported psychosocial needs of public library patrons: Comparisons based on…

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Articles and Reviews, Editorial, Research

Empathy does not come for free

I came across this piece on Medium and thought--yes! If you've seen me present within the last year, you know I've been referencing Brené Brown, but I agree wholeheartedly (reference intended) with this author. While he's a teacher referring to teachers, this is equally as valid in librarianship: Just like supporting the mental health of… Continue reading Empathy does not come for free

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Whole Person Librarianship: Partnerships to Prepare Libraries [FREE webinar]

Niche Academy Webinar – Whole Person Librarianship In normal times, a library’s relationship-based reference collection empowers librarians to direct patrons with the greatest needs to the resources that best help them—which sometimes includes an in-house social worker. In our current state of crisis, the relationship-based reference collection can be the foundation for ensuring library patrons… Continue reading Whole Person Librarianship: Partnerships to Prepare Libraries [FREE webinar]

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Link to webinar recording

Better late than never! Here’s a recording of the Webjunction webinar Sarah Johnson did this spring, with great info for all of you who are thinking about hiring a SW student intern.

Social Work Students & Public Libraries

Thank you to the hundreds of folks who logged in yesterday for the Social Work Students and Public Library Partnerships webinar.

Here is the linkto the recorded webinar (YouTube), pdf slides, handouts, and list of Resources.

Please contact me with any updates on new collaborations, especially any updates on how your branch’s social work interns are navigating remote resource assistance for patrons.

Thanks again!

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